Even though its World Cup time, a player who is not part of this world cup is being discussed from last week. Since he announced retirement last week, he has been trending. Yuvraj Singh, Thank You for all wonderful memories. When you talk about Yuvraj and the World Cups, the first thing that flashes into our minds is the 2011 World Cup. Bearing all the pain, even defeating cancer by his spirit, he literally won the World Cup for India. When we recall ‘Yuvi-Effect 2011’, the picture that comes first is ‘Motera Laugh’. India vs Australia, 2011 Quarter Final will be remembered forever and beating Australia could have been not possible without Yuvraj
Rather than a quarterfinal win, Motera was a revenge field. Revenge for Greats like Ganguly and Dravid, revenge for Sachin Tendulkar, who missed a well deserved World Cup 8 years before Ponting’s dominating Australian side. The moment when Yuvraj roared, it was not just a Semi berth for India It was literally ‘end of an empire’. Similar to Hitler’s fall, the world celebrated this too. It was fortune that India ended their dominance because there is no team in the world who deserves to knock out Australia.,
In fact, the revenge was started from the 2007 World Cup. The defeat from Coachless Dhoni-led team in the Semi-Final of 2007 t20 World Cup at Durban started the decline of Australian Cricket. Here again, Yuvraj was the hero. 119-metre flick off Brett Lee is still a golden memory for all cricket fans. It was followed by a CB Series defeat in their own den. The dominance of Australia was slowly captured by a new looking Indian team. And Finally, a defeat in the World cup.
Motera Defeat ended their Harsh and Hard Dominance in the cricket. Even though they were crowned as the Champions in 2015 World Cup, the dominance they lost at Motera, is still not regained. Defeat certainly marked ‘End of an Era’. In their best phase, the odds were always on the Australians in a pressure situation because they had the bowling, the fielding, and above all the attitude that pulled teams out of trouble. But in Motera, they lost it all.
A Captain, who started eyeing the world cup since he won his first triumph in 2007. A fighter who is fighting against Cancer and playing his best cricket. Above all, a great Legend, who gave everything for his country for 22 years and still waiting for a reward. India deserved to win. But it was not just a win, India too was slowly becoming a dominant side in international cricket.
The build-up to the Motera clash had been extraordinary. India-Australia duels have thrown up some captivating matches. Therefore a sense of anticipation was unmistakable in Ahmedabad. It was certainly a
perform-or-perish situation. Teams should have self-belief. The Side which conquers the fear of failure will win it. Australians were usually the hunters in such situations. But here in front of Yuvraj, the hunter became the hunted.
The match literally started before the toss itself. The skipper of the Defending Champions was confident than anyone. In the Pre-match conference, he promised to score a hundred. And he did it. In his last world cup game, when everyone failed, he was not ready to go without a fight. Even in defeat, Ricky Ponting has gone out as a hero. The way he batted, showed his character, his attitude and his ability to lead from the front.
From the start, Indians were consistent in their line. It wasAshwin’s second game. But it was a vital addition to the attack. Mahi’s decision to open the Bowling with Ash made the difference. Yuvraj also picked up the wickets, and by that time he has been India’s most reliable spinner. Zak’s short spells were also incredible. The yorker that broke the stumps of Mike Hussey is still a fresh memory. Indian fielding was also brilliant. Raina along with Virat saved some valuable runs. Australia finished at 260 for 6. Australians were really 20 runs short.
India lost Sehwag early. But Gambhir and Sachin started well and scored valuable fifties each. India lost both of them at a very crucial point. Kohli too departed very early. When Dhoni was caught by Clarke at the point, India were 187/5. They were still requiring 74 odd runs from 75 balls. Almost run a ball. In similar pressure situations in the past, everyone would have expected Australia to win the match. But here, the two lefties were not ready to give up.
Yuvraj and Raina were team India’s iron men. They held up against the driving will of four-time world champions. Both turned the duel on its head. Yuvraj had been resilient in the cauldron. Being judicious with his stroke-play and taking immense responsibility, he thrashed the defending Champions out of the world cup. He was literally banishing the demon of self-doubt. Yuvraj had grown in confidence. Raina on the other hand, justified his spot in the team, especially with his attitude. Along with Yuvraj, Raina’s confidence also helped to bring India into the game.
The duo stood up in confidence and literally kicked them out of the tournament. Even experienced hands like Brett Lee failed to deliver when Yuvraj and Raina began their fight to survive. The duo started to turn the screw on the Australians. In the 40th over, the pair took Brett Lee to the cleaners. The two scorching boundaries from Yuvraj’s bat certainly thrashed the confidence, Lee had in the 38th Over. Shaun Tait was wayward in the next over and gave away 13 runs. India was searching for catalysts. Those two overs proved to be one of the catalysts leading India to win.
One mistake would run them out of the World Cup. Various thoughts may run through their minds. But in a situation where it is difficult to control the emotions, Yuvi and Raina made the things simple. They watched the ball and played sensible cricket. Unless the asking rate peaked to seven-and-a-half, they didn’t go for the big hits. Till then they hold back. Singles began trickling. While pressure began to ease for batters, the pressure mounted upon the opposition. Indian Dressing room began hoping again. As long as Yuvraj were there, Australia looked beatable.
Yuvraj had come into the World Cup on the back of the poor form. But the captain and team management believed in him. They backed his match-winning ability. When he transformed a Brett Lee Yorker into a boundary ball, he made their beliefs true. Fourth Man of The Match Award for his 65-ball 57. He was certainly living a dream.
“He has got that through, playing it through the offside and its an emphatic win for India”. Ravi Sastry exploded at the commentary box. All the tears shed in Wanderers 8 years ago are converted into laughs. India will always remember Yuvraj Singh for all such moments. If he was dropped earlier, we couldn’t even imagine India lifting 2011 World Cup.